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Inbound Marketing

Social Sign-In Enables Website Engagement and Access to Rich User Data

If you're looking for a jolt to your inbound or internet marketing efforts consider adding social sign-in to your B2B website.

For the uninitiated, social sign-in is the ability for your website visitors to register and sign-in to your site with Facebook, Twitter or other social network provider credentials. It's an effective way to increase lead capture without having new visitors fill out tedious forms specific to your own website.

Facebook, Twitter and, to a lesser extent, LinkedIn, are essentially becoming the "middleware" of the Internet. You open your browser, navigate to Facebook (or Twitter or LinkedIn) and read, share, or comment on content within these sites. Millions of users already share key contact information and other valuable personal data with these sites - why not use that to your own website's advantage?

Given that a key goal of most B2B websites is user "stickiness" and engagement - social sign-in can be a very powerful approach. Recent studies have shown that visitors accessing a website through a social login spend more time on the site (12 minutes) and have more pageviews (10) on the site. Further, users are more apt to login using their existing social network data than creating a login that is only specific to one website. Considering that over 800 million users trust Facebook with personal credentials like email and password info - why you want to try to recreate that trust by forcing your website visitors to create a login specific to your site? Moreover, what about your site is so special that would encourage visitors to have a unique login to it? Nothing, really.

Additionally, Facebook et al. are already effectively managing huge databases of real user data, why not put that user data management to work for you? Don't misunderstand, it's not that the content on your site isn't valuable; it's just that if your visitors are willing to share their Facebook, Google+, or even AOL credentials with you - accept it. And be very thankful for it.

Social Sign-In = Better Leads

As a B2B entity, a main goal of your online presence and corporate website is to generate qualified leads. Mind you, there is a huge difference between leads and qualified leads. We've all reviewed the essentially "fake" leads with the xyz@______ email and single letters for first and last names. Those types of leads may allow your SEO or marketing team to say that leads are increasing or that they have met their lead goals for the month, but in terms of the potential to help drive revenue by generating new sales - they are worthless.

Facebook or LinkedIn, as examples, encourage real user data. Why would anyone invest their time in uploading pictures of friends and family or build out their online resume and not want to have real contact information associated with it? Social sign-in allows that sort of real data to be passed to your database and become a part of your lead nurturing campaign. Integrating social sign-in into your B2B website is very much like receiving high quality, free leads from highly trafficked social networks.

Social Sign-In Best Practices

If you have decided to add a social login component to your website, here are some tips to consider:
  • Make it prominent - let visitors to your website know they have the ability to use social network credentials on landing pages, registration pages, or even when sharing or commenting on your site content
  • Don't Limit Your Social Network Options - Although Facebook has the largest user base, many people still have preferences for Yahoo, Google+, Twitter, or even AOL - don't shut them out. Most social login plugins offer many social networks as login options. In this case, it's much better to be inclusive than exclusive.
  • Test, Test, Test - Whether your site is built on WordPress, Drupal, HubSpot, or even if it's a custom developed site, be sure to heavily test your social login process. An error prone login process could be the difference between a user visiting your site regularly or never coming back to your site again.

The Bottom Line on Social Sign-In

Let's summarize some key factors for considering the use of social login for your website:
  • Users logged in via a social network spend more time and have more pageviews on a site they are logged into
  • Social sign-in allows businesses to analyze well-filtered customer data which in turn can be used for demographic targeting and further social engagement
  • Users prefer social sign-in over creating a new account
  • Using an existing social network login helps increase landing page conversions

If you haven't used social sign-in yet it's worth considering and if you are using sign-in be sure it's optimized on your site.